How to upgrade toms?


Junior Member

I'm looking to upgrade my drum kit, currently consisting of professional cymbals, mainly Paiste, a 20" bass drum from a Mapex Orion, a WorldMax Vintage Classic snare, all sorts of funny percussion, and one 13" tom from an original Yamaha Stage Custom, which I is the weakest link in the chain.
I would love to get a slightly bigger set, but I've only ever found two such setups for sale, or close enough, and I wouldn't want to pay the extravagant amounts required to place a direct order from a manufacturer.

I'm specifically looking for - p r o f e s s i o n a l - level toms, the ideal setup being 10/12/14/16ft, and on one hand I don't have so much space in my practice room at the moment, so I wouldn't be sure where to put everything, but if I buy a 10/14 setup from a used kit and manage to sell the bd it will be harder to upgrade because I'd have to only find the 12/16ft from the same line, so I'm considering buying custom made 10" and 14" shells, painting them, mounting hardware and heads on them and using those for a while until I have more space, at which point I could buy the same shell types and hardware and upgrade easily enough.
The total cost of that would be around €470 + a few hours of work, and some more for the 12" and 16" down the line.

Does that sound like a good plan?
What other options do I have if I want good toms without breaking the bank?


Platinum Member
I'd sell the Orion bass drum ...... add that money to your existing €470, and then go shopping.

Find a kit that will be easy to add-on to. Get settled with a 3 piece ...... and then you just look at all the used markets available for add-ons, once you have the cash and the room. There are tons of pro level used kits out there.


Active Member
Professional, got it. No, the plan doesn't sound good. You asked.
Dude, just buy the nicest drums you can afford, all the options are out there. Save money until you can buy drums you are happy with. But this whole mixmaster drum kit then painting them and all that...Yeah no that sounds pretty craptastic to me, but then maybe you can pull it off all badass and I'm not a good friend for doubting you.
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"Uncle Larry" - Administrator
Staff member
I would do what makes you happy, not us. It's ok if you want to do something that's not recommended here. That's the freedom of the drum set. It's your baby to do with as you please. Litmus test: If it makes you happy and you know it makes you happy, then it's for you. No matter what anyone else says. There is nothing that compares to first hand experience. Go with your heart here, not your logical mind. Let your heart be your guide. That's my suggestion. If you blindly follow the will be missing out on figuring out what YOU want. In other words, follow your heart, and make the mistakes you need to. It's OK. Mistakes are your best friend because it will inform you of what you are trying to accomplish. Don't trade YOUR desires for our desires. Losing angle. You are the boss here.


Junior Member
Thanks Larry, I do appreciate the encouragement, and I do agree with the sentiment!

Then again, I'd say I'm looking for a middle ground here, and the reason I'm asking about things is that I figure I might not even be thinking about things that might be obvious to others, so if every reply is doubtful about my plan then I'm certainly going to explore other options in more depth.
I might go with my original plan in the end, but I'll have to be sure I've ruled out whatever other option was suggested first, so that I can really be sure I'm making the most of someone else's mistakes and I'm making the best choice to achieve my goal.


Diamond Member
Years ago I wanted a mountain range of toms and started looking at Pearl symphonic concert toms that you can get with the whole range of toms on stands and affordable. In the end I decided against concert toms but it was an idea.

Bo has had a lot of frankenmorp kits from orphan toms that sounded great. The only opinion that really matters is yours- since you have to live with it. But I do find merit in listening to others but in end I synthesize my own conclusions from my research. Good luck.


Active Member
Go on Reverb or Guitar Center and Find a Tama Superstar shell pack used. Great quality and sound for a good price. Also PDP and Gretsch have decent Shells for a good price.